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Eldoret farmers up in arms as NCPB asks millers to vacate its godowns

Edward Kosut
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A farmer with a consignment of the maize outside a godown in Eldoret. [Source/Edward Kipchmba]

A section of farmers in Eldoret town has protested against a National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) notice to the private miller’s asking them to close and vacate the godowns.

This comes amid woes the agricultural sector in the North Rift region has been facing, thus the low prices and prolonged payment of farmers dues believed to have been occasioned by poor management and unscrupulous businessmen.

NCPB had already issued a one-month notice to Kitui Millers asking them to evacuate the premises by end of last year. The notice expires tomorrow (January 10, 2019).

Kitui Millers' managing director Swaleh Ismael addressing the press in Eldoret town on Tuesday appealed to the Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Mwangi Kiunjiuri to intervene by extending the vacation ultimatum or allow them to continue using the facility so as to enable them to continue buying cereals from farmers since the NCPB is closed.

“Now that the NCBP is closed, farmers resorted to selling us maize to cater for school fees and capital to go back to their perennial farming activities now that planting season is approaching,” said Swaleh.

He also noted that more than 100 youths they have employed to work in the godowns will be rendered jobless including the drivers who rely on the transportation of cereals for daily bread.

“The government has not yet opened the NCPB silos to supply our maize and Kitui millers have come in handy to alleviate the situation, closing godown for the traders will affect the agricultural sector,” a farmer Joseph Yator puzzled on where to supply maize.

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